BarbHendee.org

News, commentary, and fiction by Barb Hendee, co-author of the Noble Dead saga (www.NobleDead.org); author of the Mist-Torn Witches series, the Vampire Memories series, and more.

The Latest from Barb Hendee

Something Funny

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So . . . I almost never join Facebook groups. My personal friends list is pretty small. When I chat in there, I prefer to chat with people I know. But about two weeks ago, I joined a group with over 11,000 people who love to read urban fantasy. And it's been fun! I've really enjoyed some of the threads. Those folks do love them some Faith Hunter. It makes me smile.

At first, people seemed kind of shocked that I was just in there chatting with them about books I've enjoyed reading, but what's hilarious is that this is the most common personal response to me:

"Barb Hendee? Oh my God! I can't believe it's you! I did a book report on Dhampir in the tenth grade. I'm married with kids now. Are you still writing?"

Um . . . bahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Is Writing Something Like an Addiction?

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On writing . . .

I'm a different person when I'm writing and when I'm "not writing." I'm always kind. I always get everything done that needs to be done. But when I'm not writing, I'm 100% "there" for the other people in my life. When I'm working on a book, I'm someplace else. Since I'm a binge writer, I can often get an entire novel written in a few months, but during those months, I'm someplace else.

Not long after I turned in the last book in the Dark Glass series, I made a firm decision to quit writing. On the financial front, I needed to turn my full attention to my teaching career, as I need to take care of J.C.

When I'm not writing fiction, I'm a better teacher, a better partner, a better friend. Plus, I am weary of the entire struggle of the current state of the publishing industry.

More than a few people asked me, "Barb, what are writing now?"

I would always answer, "I'm trying to quit," like it was some kind of drinking problem.

And I did quit . . . until about last February when the characters in The Hunters' Girl started running around inside my head, and I couldn't get them to go away, and I sat down and started writing.

Once the first three chapters were done, I showed them to my agent. He said, "This is good, but I can't sell it right now. No one is buying this type of fantasy. It would be better if you wrote something more like The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern."

He's a good agent, and he knows the market, but the problem was that I wasn't trying to write a salable novel. I was trying to get these characters to leave me alone. So I wrote some more and then showed the project to my friend, John Hartness, over at Falstaff Books. He said, "This is good."

I finished the novel and put it up for sale. And now I'm struggling with how to proceed. The characters aren't running around in my head so much, but their story isn't done. I'm starting a summer term with four courses (two that I've never taught before), so I'll be buried for at least two months. Then . . . I don't know. But I know that as much as I sometimes want to, I can probably never say, "I've quit."

The Agony of Marketing and Publicity

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When Dhampir was published in 2003, I was clueless about how anything worked in the publishing industry. We were paid a $6,000 advance, and the book just sort of "came out." It had a good cover and a fun-looking story line, and the powers-that-be at both B&N and Borders ordered quite a few copies to stack up on tables at the front of bookstores--and a lot of people still visited bookstores. J.C. and I did no publicity. We had no idea what publicity even was. A 10,000 copy first printing sold out in one week. By week three, the novel was in its third printing (and 35,000 copies had sold). I had heard many writers express sadness over never getting their books "seen" and I had no idea of what they were speaking. I never had to market or publicize. We were working on Thief of Lives, and all I had to do was write. I loved it.

Seventeen years later, I look back at my ignorant younger self and shake my head. I hate marketing and publicity. Over the years, I've done it, but I hate it.

With the The Hunters' Girl, I decided to self-publish the series for
several reasons. I actually had some fun with the whole process of having it copy-edited, working on the cover, and helping with the layout--and then uploading it myself. At the end of this process, I thought, "Okay. I can do this."

But now . . . I'm in the publicity stage, working like crazy to let anyone know the book exists. According to Publisher's Weekly, in 2018, 1.68 million books were self-published on Amazon. The numbers have only climbed since then. How does one get a novel "seen" amid those numbers? Since the day the novel came out, I've almost nothing but try to get the word out and wave people in the direction of the book. I hate it. 
This morning, when I checked in, the novel was in the top 10,000 on Amazon--against everything--so, the things I'm doing are working, but it's no fun, and it goes against my nature.
I'd much rather be writing.

The Hunters' Girl

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Both links (e-book and print) are live! I'm really excited.

It's been a while since I've written any contemporary fantasy, but these characters started running around inside my head, and once I'd written the first novel, I could see an entire series. I'm working on book two now.

Amazon Link

Press Release: The Hunters' Girl, Book 1

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#huntersgirl #fantasy #darkfantasy #ghost #ghosts #mystery #books #novels #deadseekers #nobledeadsaga #barbhendee

What would you do if you orphaned a girl?

Cooper Reyes and Lee Nevada run their own business hunting things no one else wants to hunt—ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and other dark entities. Before taking a job, they have clients sign a “hunters not responsible for damage or collateral” contract. They do a job, and they leave.

Then one night, in a hunt gone wrong, they orphan a teenage girl with a speech impediment. To Lee’s shock, Cooper won’t leave her to social services, as he doesn’t think she could survive the foster system. This could shatter their “no collateral” policy… and possibly

They bring her to their log house in the forests of Quinault, Washington, and try to figure out how all of this is going to work. Though still damaged, she begins trying to fit into their life and home, determined to prove her worth. When it turns out she may have gifts and secrets of her own, Cooper and Lee have to face even harder decisions.

Taking in a stray is never simple.